Every so often I receive a notice on my cellphone that says, “Upgrade available, we recommend that you upgrade your operating system.” There will also be a note that explains why they are offering the upgrade. It usually reads like, it will fix these bugs, add these features, correct these problems. I didn’t even know there was some bugs or that it needed new features, but I go ahead and click the upgrade icon. Then a note pops up and says, do you accept the terms and conditions. I don’t think I have ever read the terms and conditions, I simply click, “yes.” Then after I have accepted the changes, I get frustrated because I have to learn a few new techniques they added to the system, but soon I am happy again with my phone or other device.
We get used to upgrades to our phone, computers, apps, TV’s and just about everything that is electronic. We simply click and move on. We accept the fact that upgrades are necessary and usually improves our use of technology.
What about a personal upgrade?
Not your phone or computer but, yourself. Upgrades don’t have to be labor intensive, or a major system overhaul. Just a little here and there can make a big difference. Here are five personal areas to consider some upgrades in 2019. I think the Apostle Paul would call this, “grow.”
Jesus declared, ”Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
One brother I was speaking with Saturday said, “My job has moved me near my home, I save two and half hours a day in driving.” I said, “Great, you can spend that time with the Lord now.” Why not?
Remember the movie, “The Blind Side”? When Leigh Anne played by Sandra Bullock was serving Thanksgiving Dinner, and her family grabbed their plates and hurried to the den to watch football. Michael Oher, the homeless teen she had taken in just a few nights before, went and sat at their beautiful dinning room table to eat. When she saw him, she went and shut off the television and called all the family to the table. That was an upgrade.
Take a moment right now and think about your family. The time you spend with them, the words you say to them, the prayers you pray over your spouse? Children? In-law’s? and Grandchildren? Just think about a few upgrades that you can do in your family. Maybe plan your calendar to do something extra together. It doesn’t take much to go a long way with your children, spouse or elderly parents.
In only a few months many will be making New Year resolutions again. Some will be to get in shape and lead to an enormous amount of new gym memberships. You don’t have to join a gym to upgrade your health. My dad was always on my brother Mike and I to “take care of yourselves.” Watch what you eat, walk, don’t gain weight. . . I can still hear his voice. “If you lose your heath you can’t do much for God.” He was an example to us and he outlived all of his family by almost 20 years.
My heart breaks for many of my coworkers in the ministry as they get older. Why? The price they are paying for not taking care of their physical body. Come-on let’s upgrade our physical fitness.
You are probably already thinking about your income tax for next year. Are you pleased with how you spent your money so fa r this year? How much was saved? Reduced your debt? Gave to God?
Why not pick a couple of areas to upgrade? Maybe tracking spending better? A budget? Setting a realistic saving goal? Look over your insurances to see that you are covered enough. There is still time in 2019 to upgrade in this area.
There was a popular sitcom in recent year, “Friends.” It struck a nerve with the American public because people were craving a circle of friends who would be there for them at all times.
The theme song for the show says . . .
I will be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I will be there for you, like I’ve been there before.
I will be there for you, and you’re there for me too.
Let me ask you a question…Are you enjoying the benefits of a close friendship?
At the end of our Lord’s earthly ministry he met with his disciples and called them, “friends.” (John 15:14) That is what I want to be able to say, “I have lived my life with friends.” I was in a meeting recently when a fellow pastor said, “I have worked with Larry for forty years.” While that really sounds “old.” This is what I want – lifelong friends. Leaders can become so negligent of just being, “good ol friends.”
When these five areas are upgraded, I call this the, “Five-Star Life.” Let’s live it . . . It’s time to upgrade.